Birmingham & Black Country

Sam Greatrex: Halesowen man prepares for Atlantic row

Sam Greatrex arriving in Lagos Image copyright Lap The World
Image caption The record attempt will see Sam Greatrex cycle, kayak, row and walk his way around the world

A man bidding to set a new world record for travelling around the world is preparing for a challenging row across the Atlantic.

Sam Greatrex, from Halesowen, is attempting the fastest human-powered circumnavigation of the world.

He set off from Paris in September, cycling almost 1,250 miles (2,000 km) to Lagos on the coast of Portugal.

Mr Greatrex said he had returned home to put on two and a half stone (15.8kg) before starting the row in January.

"I'm looking forward to a guilt-free Christmas," he said.

The 3,500 nautical mile journey will see the 29 year old, along with four friends, row from Lagos to Georgetown in Guyana.

'Challenge begins'

"I'm well aware how easy I had it in France and Spain. I didn't even have a single puncture.

"We enjoyed the food and we even passed shacks selling wine.

"The hardest parts were in Spain where there were climbs of 1,000 metres and temperatures in the mid 30s.

"But the north Atlantic is where the challenge really begins.

"For the next 3,500 nautical miles it will be two hours rowing, two hours rest at a time until we make landfall."

Image copyright Natural Power
Image caption The five-man crew plans to row from Lagos in Portugal to Georgetown in Guyana

With space at a premium in the 28ft (8.5m) boat, Mr Greatrex said the crew would survive on a diet of dehydrated meals, high energy cereal and chocolate bars, dried fruit and beef jerky.

"Before I came home I stood on the marina in Portugal where we'll leave from, just looking out to the Atlantic - it was a really daunting prospect."

Mr Greatrex hopes to complete his 32,000-mile journey within 18 months and break the record, which currently stands at five years and 11 days.

He also aims to raise £240,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, after being diagnosed with the disease as a 10 year old.

Image copyright Lap The World
Image caption The 32,000 mile challenge officially started from Paris in September. Sam Greatrex hopes to arrive back there by the end of March 2016

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